Year: 2024

Churchill, Palestine and the State of Israel, Part 2: 1945-1951

Churchill, Palestine and the State of Israel, Part 2: 1945-1951

"The Middle East is one of the hardest-hearted areas in the world. It has always been fought over, and peace has only reigned when a major power has established firm influence and shown that it would maintain its will. Your friends must be supported with every vigour and if necessary they must be avenged. Force, or perhaps force and bribery, are the only things that will be respected.... At present our friendship is not valued, and our enmity is not feared." —WSC, 1958

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Churchill, Palestine and Israel, Part 1: 1917-1945

Churchill, Palestine and Israel, Part 1: 1917-1945

Churchill and Palestine had a long association, spanning two world wars and thirty years. It began in 1917, when British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour promised a “Jewish National Home” in Palestine. Almost simultaneously, Lawrence of Arabia was offering the Arabs sovereignty over a Middle East ruled for nearly half a millennium by the Turks. By war’s end, the Ottoman Empire was a shambles. “At this truly horrendous moment,” Professor Fromkin told us, “Prime Minister David Lloyd George turned to his Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill and said in effect, ‘You deal with it.’”

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No, Churchill Didn’t Sink the Lusitania, Either

No, Churchill Didn’t Sink the Lusitania, Either

The scholar Harry V. Jaffa placed most of the blame on human error: “Not only was Lusitania's steam reduced; her crew was also. The best men had been taken by the Royal Navy; lifeboat drills were listless…. The davits by which they had to be lowered were virtually unworkable from the moment the ship began to list. But the greatest of all the failures was the captain’s, since he navigated almost exactly as he would have done in peacetime.” Captain Turner had slowed down after striking the Irish coast, in order to arrive with the tide at Merseyside. 

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The Churchill Tours, 1983-2008: A Certain Splendid Memory

The Churchill Tours, 1983-2008: A Certain Splendid Memory

"Garry, check this Churchill tour, and the price. To think that you and we used to deliver two weeks and places these people never heard about for a third the money not so long ago" .... "Richard, just think back to the people we met with Churchill connections who are no longer with us. And in many cases our tours visited their homes. Quite unique when you think about it—in fact impossible to be repeated. We definitely had the best.”

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“At Bladon”: Fifty-nine Years On, Echoes and Memories

“At Bladon”: Fifty-nine Years On, Echoes and Memories

30 January 1965: "On the way home, my mind was a blank. I tried to say some silent prayers for that brave and generous soul, but they were choked and confused, and came to nothing. I could not mourn for him: he had so clearly and for so long wanted to leave the World. But I was submerged in a wave of aching grief for Britain's precipitous decline, against which he had stood in vain. When I reached our flat in Eaton Place it had been burgled." —Anthony Montague Browne

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Teapot Tempest: DeSantis Misquote Goes Viral

Teapot Tempest: DeSantis Misquote Goes Viral

Note! This post falls under the title "pedantry." As I said when Politifact asked: Who cares? Many fake Churchill quotes like Governor DeSantis uttered are honorable things for anyone to have said, and Churchill said many things like them. We like to keep the record straight, and we will keep doing the job of verifying. But these are not big questions, of which there are plenty. RML

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Sir Martin Gilbert on Churchill and the Holocaust

Sir Martin Gilbert on Churchill and the Holocaust

Why so little of the Holocaust in Churchill's war memoirs? There were many reasons. Intelligence restrictions were still in place, war crimes trials were occurring. Churchill had an understandable reluctance to criticize American officials who had blocked his order to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz. Churchill was never never one to open a quarrel with allies over the past. Also, as Lady Gilbert pointed out that it wasn't actually known as the Holocaust for years later.

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The New York Times on Those Repressive Lativans

The New York Times on Those Repressive Lativans

"You should have fought them in 1945," the Mayor of Liepaja said. "Think of all the trouble you would have saved yourselves—not to mention us.” As we stood to leave, he pulled up his shirt, showing scars across his stomach. As a boy, he and his mates would visit the barb-wired beaches after curfew, walking backwards into the water to simulate an invasion. He'd been strafed by Soviet guards. How you think about these things often depends on how you grew up.

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Winston Churchill’s Tests of Freedom: Then and Now

Winston Churchill’s Tests of Freedom: Then and Now

"These simple, practical tests, are some of the title-deeds on which a new Italy could be founded." Think of the years of experience, thought, and hard political lessons that went into those basic tenets. How Churchill expressed them in only 201 words, mostly of one or two syllables. How little they are thought of today, when we try to describe certain nations as free countries.

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Churchill and the Rhineland: “Terrible Circumstances”

Churchill and the Rhineland: “Terrible Circumstances”

Churchill would have backed French reoccupation of the Rhineland, but he soon gathered that the League of Nations was toothless. Churchill’s theme did not dramatically change in 1936; it merely evolved. As early as 1933 he had declared:  "Whatever way we turn there is risk. But the least risk and the greatest help will be found in re-creating the Concert of Europe." The failure of a concerted response over the Rhineland was to be repeated. Each time western statesmen hoped the latest Hitler inroad would be his last.

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